This question was posed as a spin-off on the feature posted about a week ago posing the question: Which season, other than 1999, was your favorite Titans season? With the safe assumption that Steve McNair is etched in stone as the greatest Titans QB to date, I asked the #2 Titans QB question in the comments, got a little discussion stirred up, but I figured it was a good enough topic to discuss in further detail. We're not talking about the Oilers here, so Warren Moon is out. Only years as the Titans. I'm curious as to what MCM thinks. Here are the candidates, listed by era:
#14 Neil O'Donnell
O'Donnell joined the Titans as a free agent in their inaugural season as the Titans, 1999, and served primarily as McNair's backup. He stepped in in the '99 season very nicely, though, playing a key role in getting off to a fast start while McNair was injured. This was our Super Bowl season. He also played later in the season in Week 17 as we were gearing up for our Playoff run that, of course, culminated in a Super Bowl appearance. He started in three other Titans games following the Super Bowl season, in 2000, 2001, and 2003, after he initially retired.
#7 Billy Volek
Volek went undrafted in the 2000 Draft, then was signed as a UDFA by the Titans. He spent the large majority of his career as a good backup QB in the league, both here in Tennessee as well as in San Diego later. The highlight of Volek's career with the Titans was his back-to-back 400-yard passing games in 2004, becoming only the fourth QB in NFL history to do so (3 passers have done it since). He finished the 2004 season as the starter due to a McNair injury, and became our full-time starter when McNair was unceremoniously traded to Baltimore. He remained the starter until the signing of the next man...
When Collins was signed, Volek was traded to San Diego. Collins signed with the Titans in 2006 and began the season as the starter, but that didn't last long. After a miserable start to the season, he was replaced by Vince Young, who was drafted #3 overall the same season. Collins remained Young's backup until 2008, when Young was injured. 2008 was undoubtedly the most popular choice for "favorite non-1999 season" here, and Collins played a huge role in that. Collins, as the starter for the majority of 2008, helped lead us to a 13-3 record, eventually losing to the Ravens in the Divisional Round. After the 13-3 season, Collins promptly returned to earlier form and began the 2009 season with an 0-6 record, relinquishing the starting job to...
#10 Vince Young
Young was drafted #3 overall in 2006 and quickly developed a reputation for a comeback artist after taking the starting job from Collins in his rookie year. He led 3 comebacks that season, was Rookie of the Year, and was voted to the Pro Bowl. Despite his rookie accomplishments, however, Young's best season was arguably 2009, in which he led the Titans to an 8-8 record after taking the starting job back from an abysmal Kerry Collins, who had led the team to an 0-6 start. Young's comeback season featured a 5-game winning streak in the second half of the season. He was released following the 2010 season, a year that saw three different starting QBs: Young, Collins, and Rusty Smith, and also featured the Young/Fisher meltdown following the Redskins game.
2011 ushered in a new era of Titans football, with a new head coach and two new QBs. The days of Collins and Young were over, and the era of the QBs from the Pacific Northwest had begun. Matt Hasselbeck joined the Titans as a free agent from the Seahawks, brought in as a bridge QB between the previous era and the Jake Locker era. Hasselbeck was named the starter for the entire 2011 season, and he started all 16 games according to plan. He missed some time due to injury, but no starts. He led the Titans to a 9-7 record in 2011, but the team missed out on the Playoffs due to losing a tiebreaker against the Bengals. Perhaps more important than stats or record, however, Hasselbeck helped provide the foundation for a new culture at the QB position for the Titans. He was a terrific mentor and teacher for the young Jake Locker, and had a great attitude in his role that only helped a brand new head coach in Munchak as well. He served as Locker's backup in 2012, had to start a few games due to Locker's injuries, but was a great teammate until his duties were over and left the team in free agency this season.
So there are your candidates. I'm not including Jake Locker in this poll because of the lack of sample size so far. I certainly HOPE we can look back on Locker's career once it's more developed and list him as the #2 or even #1 QB we've ever had in a Titans uniform. But for the sake of this discussion, I'm sticking to the past guys for now.
What are your thoughts? Who's the #2 QB in Titans history? Vote below, and share your thoughts!